binns photo

W. Robert Binns

Research Professor

Office Contact Information

252 Compton

Physics Department, CB 1105
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899, USA

(314) 935-6247
(314) 935-6219

Research Interests

Dr. Binns' research is primarily in Cosmic Ray, and recently, in Neutrino Astrophysics. He is the Principal Investigator on the Super-TIGER experiment, which was recently selected by NASA, to measure the elemental composition in the galactic cosmic rays of nuclei heavier than zinc. He is a Co-investigator on the Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer (CRIS) experiment aboard the NASA ACE spacecraft that was launched in August, 1997, and was responsible for the development of the scintillating fiber hodoscope, which is the trajectory detector on CRIS. The objective of the CRIS experiment is to measure the isotopic abundances of nuclei with 3 < Z (charge) < 30. He is also a coinvestigator on the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) experiment, a high energy neutrino experiment that was flown successfully on a long duration balloon flight over Antarctica in 2006-2007 and 2008-2009. He and the Washington University cosmic ray group have developed scintillating optical fibers coupled to image intensified CCD cameras or multi-anode photomultiplier tubes to obtain images of charged particle tracks.

He was the Principal Investigator on the Trans-lron Galactic Element Recorder (TIGER) experiment, a predecessor experiment to Super-TIGER, which was designed to measure the elemental composition of cosmic rays heavier than iron. It was flown from Antarctica on long duration balloon flights in 2001 and 2003. He was also a co-investigator on the Heavy Nuclei Experiment that was flown aboard the NASA High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO-3) spacecraft launched in 1979. In addition, he has been an investigator on numerous other balloon-borne experiments.

Selected Publications

  1. Cosmic-Ray Origin in OB Associations and Preferential Acceleration of Refractory Elements: Evidence from Abundances of Elements 26Fe through 34Se, B. F. Rauch, et al. (2009) Astrophysical Journal, 697, 2083 (astro-ph/0906.2021)
  2. Observations of the Askaryan Effect in Ice, P.W. Gorham, et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 99 (2007) 1101
  3. Cosmic Ray Neon, Wolf-Rayet Stars, and the Superbubble Origin of Galactic Cosmic Rays, W. R. Binns, M. E. Wiedenbeck, M. Arnould, A. C. Cummings, J. S. George, S. Goriely, M. H. Israel, R. A. Leske R. A. Mewaldt, G. Meynet, L. M. Scott, E. C. Stone, and T. T. von Rosenvinge, (2005) The Astrophysical Journal, 634, 351-364. (astro-ph/0508398)
  4. Constraints on the Time Delay between Nucleosynthesis and Cosmic-Ray Acceleration from Observations of Ni-59 and Co-59, Wiedenbeck, M.E.; Binns, W.R.; Christian, E.R.; Cummings, A.C.; Dougherty, B.L.; Hink, P.L.; Klarmann, J.; Leske, R.A.; Lijowski, M.; Mewaldt, R.A.; Stone, E.C.; Thayer, M.R.; von Rosenvinge, T.T.; Yanasak, N.E. (1999) The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 523, L61-64.
  5. The Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer for the Advanced Composition Explorer, Stone, E.C. et al. (1998) Space Science Reviews. 86, 28.
  6. The Abundances of Ultraheavy Elements in the Cosmic Radiation: Results from HEAO-3, W. R. Binns, T. L. Garrard, P. S. Gibner, M. H. Israel, M. P. Kertzman, J. Klarmann, B. J. Newport, E. C. Stone, and C. J. Waddington, (1989) The Astrophysical Journal, 346, 997.

W. Robert Binns' Complete Publications List


1969 Ph.D., Colorado State University, Physics
1966 M.S., Colorado State University, Physics
1962 B.S., Ottawa University, Physics


Professional History

Research Professor, Department of Physics and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

1985-1988 NASA Particle Astrophysics Magnet Facility Definition Team
1989 NASA Small-Class Explorer Program Peer Review Panel
1989-1994 NASA Cosmic Ray Program Working Group
1990 Space Physics Strategy-Implementation Study Panel
1992 NASA Cosmic and Heliospheric Management Operations Working Group
1998-1999 NASA ACCESS Investigators Working Group
1990-2004 WU Universities Space Research Association representative
2003-2004 COSPAR Main Scientific Organizer for Cosmic Ray sessions
2003-2005 Member of NASA Radiation Discipline Working Group
2005-2007 Member of NASA Balloon Working Group
---- Frequent public outreach talks on Cosmic Rays


Honors and Awards

1966-1969 NASA Fellowship
1980 NASA group achievement award for HEAO-3 Experiment
1998 NASA group achievement award for ACE-CRIS Experiment